I love animated films. All that is required for you to enjoy this post is that you love them, too.
If, on the other hand, you think that animated films are for kids only, or that you’re above watching anything that resembles a cartoon – well, in that case, I have two things to say to you: go away. You may think you’re acting very “adult” (or some such rot), but as Lewis so glibly put it: “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
Lastly, I should add that this is not a list of the Greatest Animated Films of All-Time (though I think many of the ones mentioned here would make such a list); it is simply a collection of my personal favorites – the ones that are nearest and dearest to my heart, brain, and funny-bone.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
That’s right: the number one spot goes to Monsters, Inc. And if you haven’t at least seen it, you have no business calling yourself a cinephile. Pixar has given us a vast array of superb films, but for me, this one is the cream of the crop. The story, the characters, the script, the “monstrous” animation – it all works. Perfectly. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of Mike’s line: “Sulley, put that Thing back where it came from, or so help me…”
The Incredibles (2004)
Sleek artwork. Remarkable voice-acting. Slam-bang action. Brilliant script. Unforgettable characters. Thrilling storyline. Great message. All this to say, The Incredibles is incredible. In the words of R.L. Shaffer, it’s “a sharp, even amusing, homage to comic book lore, a great family-friendly action-comedy, and a thoughtful marital drama all wrapped up in a deliciously exciting package.”
Batman: Under the Red Hood (2010)
Simply terrific. It has an absorbing plot, an impressive cast, smart pulp writing, and consistently impressive action – all of which make it one of the finest examples of comic book filmmaking I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching. What really makes it stand out, however, is the emotion and thematic depth of the storytelling. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Just remember one thing: while most of the films listed here are appropriate for all ages, this one is emphatically not. It’s grim, sobering, and loaded with considerable amounts of violence (including a murder which will make even the most hardened viewer cringe). Taking that into account, older fans will find Under the Red Hood well worth their time and consideration.
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